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The British artist Stephen Tomlin was closely associated with the circle of writers and artists known as the Bloomsbury Group. In 1928 he married the niece of the critic and biographer Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), one of the leading figures of the Bloomsbury Group, whose book called Eminent Victorians drily exposed the hypocrisies of the Victorian era. Strachey commissioned Tomlin to make this bust, and wrote: ‘I sit all day to Tommy, who is creating what appears to me a highly impressive, repulsive, and sinister object.’ Tomlin’s portrait suggests the writer’s combination of sagacity and diffidence.

Stephen Tomlin was born in 1901 in London, where he died in 1937.

August 2004